Mar 28, 2024 - World

Baltimore bridge disaster workers seen as reminder of immigrants' role

A faraway shot of the collapsed bridge in Baltimore, in grey skies

A U.S. Coast Guard patrol yesterday near the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge after it was struck by the container ship Dali in Baltimore. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The deaths of construction workers in the collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key bridge underscores the key role of immigrants in the U.S. labor force, as well as some of the risks they're exposed to.

The big picture: The tragedy is "a reminder that immigrants are caring for our communities and cities in often unseen ways," United We Dream spokesperson Anabel Mendoza says via email.

Driving the news: The bodies of Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, 26, who was originally from Guatemala, and Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes, 35, who was from Mexico, were recovered Wednesday.

  • Two people were rescued earlier. Four workers — all from Central America and Mexico — remain missing and are presumed dead.

What to know: The workers were fixing potholes on Interstate 695, which includes the bridge crossing, and were unable to evacuate in time before the structure was struck by a cargo ship and collapsed.

  • Two of the victims who have not been found are 49-year-old Miguel Luna of El Salvador and Maynor Suazo, 38, originally from western Honduras.
  • Among the two rescued people was another worker, name undisclosed, of Mexican descent, according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

What they're saying: "What my heart wishes most is that they're found, that everything possible is done to find them," the wife of Luna, María del Carmen Castellón, said to Telemundo 44 on Tuesday night.

  • "It's hard to bear and think that my brother is trapped somewhere under that iron giant," Carlos Suazo, an older brother of Maynor, told Noticias Telemundo.
  • "This proves that immigrants go out and do this dangerous work at midnight, and that shouldn't mean they get treated the way some insensitive and irresponsible politicians in the U.S. treat them," López Obrador said Wednesday.

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